I’m sure both of my parents could write a few novels about what they have been through the last few years with my dad’s stage 4 cancer diagnosis.  They are the strongest people I know and have handled this trial with optimism, grit and determination.  This post is about my experience with what it has been like to have my dad get this diagnosis.  I know far too many of you have/are/will experience similar stories and it’s just so reassuring to know we are all here for each other.

My parents found out about my dad’s cancer back in 2017.  My mom decided that she wanted to renew my dad’s insurance policy a year before they needed to.  The insurance company sent a nurse to the house, took some tests and a week later my mom got the call at 8 am from the insurance company telling her that they needed to get to the doctors that day.   We are all so incredibly thankful that my mom had this done when she did because it would have been too late otherwise.

It’s hard for me to write in logical paragraphs when it comes to really hard things so instead I’ll share some of the different experiences/feelings/thoughts I went through in bullet point format.

*I remember falling asleep one night sobbing uncontrollably (in the beginning we thought my dad just had a few months left) and having Andrew next to me rubbing my back and there for me in every single way possible.  We had only known each other for 10 months at that point and I could see so clearly one of the many reasons why I felt God had led us to each other so quickly… up until I met Andrew, I had been as dependent on my parents as you could possibly be.  They got me through so much and then boom, Andrew popped up in my life and I had the most incredible partner all of the sudden.  He helped me so much to get through that time and to then be able to be there for my parents with whatever they needed.  It would have been so so much harder without him.

*My dad’s cancer is something that really does help me to remember what is truly important here.  It is so easy to get caught up in all of the small things that feel like they matter but don’t.  People are what matter and all of that other stuff melts away when I remember to put things into perspective.

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*When we first found out what was happening I dropped out of going to a race and had no desire to move.  I remember during previous grieving periods in my life, I NEEDED movement and running/racing more than ever but with the grieving of my dad’s diagnosis, I just wanted to be in fetal position and not even see the sunlight.  Grief is so interesting to me.  You really never know what you are going to get.  It changes just as soon as you think you have one stage figured out and it manifests itself in so many different ways.

*During the 2018 St. George Marathon my dad wasn’t doing very well and obviously couldn’t be at the race.  During those last few miles when I was finally reaching my goal of a sub 3 I thought about my dad pretty much the majority of the way.  I just wanted to be strong like him.  I didn’t want to give up because he sure wasn’t giving up and I wanted to FLY!  Having him there for the 2019 St. George Marathon doing SO much better and hearing him cheer and say, “ATTA GIRL” for me during the last .2 miles was the best feeling ever.

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*A big part of the reason we moved 2 years ago to the house we live in now was to be closer to my parents.  We went from a 25 minute drive to a 9 minute drive and that makes a big difference and I’m so grateful we get to see them so often.

*I still cannot eat chic-fil-a without thinking about those first few weeks of finding out about my dad’s diagnosis.  There were so many days when Andrew and I would spend hours at their house and then on the drive home we would stop at chic-fil-a, order everything on the menu and eat our feelings in the car.

*Seeing someone that you love so much in pain and hurting is incredibly heartbreaking.  I still have no idea how to handle those feelings because it is so hard but I do know that we have to lean into the pain… numbing our feelings doesn’t get us anywhere (I tried that with an eating disorder for years in the past) but we truly have to allow ourselves to feel what we need to feel.  We were given emotions and feelings for a reason and using numbing habits to cope with them takes us farther away from healing.

*I think the biggest lesson that my divorce taught me was to trust in God’s plan.  To trust that He knows what I need to learn and do to get closer to my potential.  Sure there was a ridiculous amount of pain/stress/struggle during that time but that all took me to more love/happiness/growth than I could have ever dreamed of before it all happened.  I remember feeling so angry for about a month (which is a necessary part of the grieving cycle too) after my dad was diagnosed because a man that has dedicated his entire life to loving and serving people had to go through so much pain and uncertainty.  It didn’t seem fair that the friendliest guy you’ll ever meet had to experience so much sickness from treatments when this should be the time of life that my parents could be traveling and soaking in the joys from all of their years of hard work.  I remember feeling a release of all of that anger one afternoon when I was sitting alone on my couch when I thought back to what I learned from my divorce to trust God and His plan for all of us.  For whatever reasons, there are things my family needs to learn through all of this.  There are ways that my dad is helping others through their trials because of his own trials.  There is growth in relationships and more gratitude in all of the time that we do get together.  I’ve seen God’s plan work out exactly how it should work out too many times in my life to not believe that His plan for us is happening right now too.

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The future is unknown and the road is long but all I can control right now is doing whatever I can to help my parents and to enjoy each dinner/holiday/get-together/moment that I possibly can with my people!

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I’d love to hear from you on your experiences with cancer in your life. Or hard things or any things you know that can help others through hard times!!

MOM

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75 comments

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God is so amazing and constantly shows us that daily in our life. I feel that He has led me to your blog because He knew that I would read it daily and can use your advice and suggestions in a lot of the same areas of my life. You are the reason I started running :)! My boyfriend was just diagnosed with prostate cancer and is going to have surgery on Oct. 5th. It has been a very anxious and worrying time for both of us, but I just keep telling myself that if God has brought us to it, He will bring us through it! My favorite word was Blessed because He blessed with this man after my divorce, but now it is Trust –
“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”
-Isaiah 12:2
I will pray for you, your dad, and your whole family for healing, peace, strength, and courage.
Thank you for starting this blog, for being real, for encouragement, and for being a friend!
My bucket list includes meeting you some day :) – Hugs to you!

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Thank you thank you thank you Kristel and I am SO sorry about what you and your boyfriend are going through right now. I am praying that the surgery goes well and I really hope you will keep me updated. That scripture is beautiful, it is just what I needed. Thank you for being my friend and I have to meet you someday. It made me smile so big to read that my blog is the reason you started running. Wish we could go on a run together in the morning. Thank you for the prayers and I’m sending prayers right back to you guys.

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Oh Janae, thank you for sharing this with us!
I think I say at least once a week, that things happen for a reason. Sometimes that reason is immediately clear, other times it might be months or years before you know why. Another saying I say a lot is, “God doesn’t give you what you can’t handle.”. There’s growth from every experience, good and bad.
My dad passed away last summer, and it was so incredibly hard to go through. But then we were all reminded what is truly important in this life. The amazing support of family and friends, to have your people who are there for you and you for them. Simple moments of just being with the people you love. That’s what is precious and important.
I’m glad your dad is doing well. And I know you all treasure and will continue to treasure every moment together. You are so right saying it’s the people who matter!
Sending you lots of love and hugs!! ❤️

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Both my parents passed away from cancer when I was a teenager so this topic hits so close to home. Grief is truly a journey and I always say that it is so important to FEEL it all, if you try to go through it pretending it’s all okay you will just crumble harder once it all hits you. I’m so glad to hear your dad is doing better though! I do know it’s always day by day with cancer so I will continue to keep you and your family in my thoughts ❤️

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I lost my dad this past November to stage 4 kidney cancer. It has been, without a doubt, the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. I still have days where it brings me to my knees because I miss him so much. I can relate to so much of what you posted above. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions – almost every single day! I am just now starting to run again after “losing my breath” from such a huge loss. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It helps to know we aren’t alone. Keep trusting in the One who holds tomorrow. It truly is the only way! Hugs! 💗

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Oh Sarah. I am so incredibly sorry. I hate that you lost him and I wish I could take away your pain. “Losing my breath” that is exactly how I felt when we first found out. Thank you for sharing that with me, it means a lot. I’m always here if you need to talk. Sending love.

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Ash, I absolutely cannot even imagine losing both parents as a teenager to cancer. Thank you so much for sharing that with me, it’s just what I needed to remember. Thank you for taking the time to write me and for keeping us in your thoughts. I really appreciate you and I am so so sorry for your losses.

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Wendy, thank you so much for your sweet comment. I am SO sorry that you lost your dad last summer. That breaks my heart. “There’s growth from every experience” is exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you for sharing this with me… it’s the simple moments with our people that matters more than everything. Sending love to you.

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Big hugs to you! #CancerSucks #F***Cancer. Sorry for my profanity. In 2 1/2 years, from November 2012 – May 2015 me and my husband lost 3 out of our 4 parents to cancer. None of them lasted more than 13 months. We are in MA and his parents were in VT and FL and my husband really didn’t see either of them until the end (with his dad, literally the last 30 minutes) because they didn’t want him to see them that way (and both of them thought they would beat it). With his mom it was the last 3 days and the day after we flew home she passed away. Even with my dad they we didn’t see them that much – they kept an arm’s distance and my mom refused all the help from me. She did accept help from my brother who had been estranged from our whole family for 5-6 years but did come back and was a tremendous help (I couldn’t have done the literal heavy lifting that he did to help around the house). My dad didn’t need chemo and he refused surgery that he very easily may not have survived. But his alternative wasn’t what they outlined either – he was in and out of the hospital with infections most of the time. To this day I still have nightmares about seeing him at the end.

Your father and your family will continue to be in my thoughts. Life is not fair :( Keep doing what you are doing and loving him and spend time with him and pray hard and squeeze your kids a little harder every night.

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Oh Jessey, I cannot even imagine what you and your husband have gone through over the last 8 years. This breaks my heart. I am so sorry that you had to see them that way. This made me cry. Thank you so much for sharing with me and for sending love. We are all in this together. Sending love!

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Thank you for sharing this with us, Janae. Sending you and your family so many hugs and so much hope.

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Annie, thank you so much for your friendship and love over the years. I really appreciate you!

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Thank you so much for sharing this Janae. Keep surrounding yourself with positivity and gratitude. Many prayers to your family., you are truly blessed to have such an incredible family and support system.

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Thank you for your sweet comment, it means a lot to me! I totally agree, I feel so lucky to have these people and you guys!

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Oh my goodness all of this sounds so hard to handle. I’m glad your dad is still with us but am so sorry for everything your family went through. You are entitled to all that Chik fil A and 100x more to deal with all of that. Please enjoy every moment you get with your family, especially those awesome Sunday dinners.

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Thank you SO much friend! Seriously, each Sunday dinner feels like the biggest gift! I hope you are having a great night!

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My dad was also diagnosed with stage 4 cancer last year. So many of the things you shared could have come straight out of my heart. Thank you for sharing about how God gets your family through this time. He is also my family’s rock and I don’t know how we would have faced this experience without Him. 💗💗💗

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Ali, I am SO so sorry that you are going through the same thing. I’m ALWAYS here if you need to talk/email. I totally agree, I don’t know how we would either. Thank you friend. Sending prayers!

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Thank you, Janae!!

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Hi Jenae, thanks for sharing this with us. I remember in 2017 when you took a day off blogging for a family event and I was worried for your family at that time. I’m so sorry that you all have to experience this pain but I’m grateful you have Andrew to be with you and a new little family member on the way!

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Yes, you have an amazing memory. Thank you so much for being there for me and for your sweet words. Have a great evening!

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Janae, thank you for this post. I emailed you last year when my dad was going through his cancer journey (unfortunately without a happy ending) and you were so kind in your response. I didn’t know you’d been in a similar situation as well. All my very best to you and your family and I’m so glad you’re able to cherish these moments with your dad.

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I absolutely remember your email and feeling so thankful that you talked to me about it. I am so sorry that you lost your dad. I’m thinking about you and I’m here if you ever need to talk. xoxox

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Thanks for sharing girl, I think this post will help and speak to so many. Thinking of you all, and I hope you know if you ever need to take a blogging break we will all be here when you get back. Also… knowing that your dad survived covid too while having this cancer – wow! What a strong guy.

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Thank you so much Andrea, that means a lot to me! I agree, he is so incredibly tough. Have a beautiful evening!

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Janae, this post could not be more timely. My husband was just diagnosed with a brain tumor. We are visiting one of the top neurosurgeons in the country tomorrow and I have so many emotions. I feel relatively calm knowing there is a plan, and I’m trusting in that – but I also am definitely more worried and scared than my husband appears to be. It’s hard to be strong and brave for someone you love so dearly when they are facing something so terrifying but his strength is absolutely helping me. I’ve run only twice since this all started two weeks ago but they were fast and fierce runs. I think I needed to let go some of my fear in a healthy way. Thank you for being a virtual friend. Your posts have helped me in so many ways over the almost 10 years I’ve been following.

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Oh Rachel, my heart is absolutely broken for you. I cannot even imagine what you are going through and I wish I could give you a big hug right now. Will you please keep me updated and I’m here for you in any way that you need. Wish we could go on a fast and fierce run together. Praying for you guys and I hope everything goes as well as possible tomorrow. xoxox

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Big hugs to you and your family. Being so close and able to lean on each other must be such a comfort to you all.

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It really is, I feel so grateful that I get to be so close to them. Thank you Corey!

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This post just really highlights even more so what a strong person you are. And your family too. Will be praying Gods love and peace for you all through this time, though it is evident He is already carrying you. Thanks for sharing.

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Thank you sweet friend, that means a lot. I hope you have a beautiful evening!!

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Thanks for feeling comfortable and safe enough in this space to share this! I’ve often wondered how your dad was doing after you first mentioned his cancer diagnosis. My dad went through his own journey with cancer, and unfortunately passed away a few weeks ago. It’s such an emotional roller coaster, but I do know that 3 things that are certain. Regardless of the outcome, what matters is love, gratitude, and above all else FAITH. Love never leaves, even when our loved ones aren’t here the love remains- just in a different form. Be grateful for each day, for each minute! The moment you’re in is the most important moment of your life. Faith will comfort you, trust that everything is a perfect plan…because it is :). All the best for you and your family.

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Oh Jocelyn. I wish I could give you a big hug right now. I am so so sorry. Thank you for taking the time to write to me and sharing those three things… you are so right. 100% yes. Thank you Jocelyn and please keep in touch!

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I am so grateful for the relationship that God has allowed between fathers and daughters💕Praying for your family! Keep praying and keep trusting!

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Yes yes yes. Thank you Stephanie and we really appreciate that.

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Hey Janae, I haven’t commented in a while as life got busy but from 2012-2017 I think I commented almost every day. Reading this made me weepy because through the years I feel like I’ve gotten to know your family. I know your dad is such a good man, waking up early to drive while you run to keep you safe.

I’m so sorry your family has had to face, and are facing, these trials. It is so nice to hear you talk about the positives and to see them clearly.

I lost my dad to cancer a year and a half ago and it was devastating and it happened fast. Then a month ago I lost my cat to cancer as well. The word you said is still the word I think all the time: unfair.

Loss, or the possibility of loss, really does show us how precious life is and to not take it for granted. I hope the best for your dad. You are blessed to have such a strong, close family unit. Keep on making good memories together.

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Kristina, I loved hearing from you and I totally remember our conversations over the years. I am so incredibly sorry you lost your dad 1.5 years ago to cancer. I had no idea. I want to give you a big hug and I hate that you lost your cat to cancer too. I’m thinking about you. Thank you for sharing and I hope you have a beautiful night.

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Janae – I was not a runner until my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I signed up for a half marathon to raise money for cancer research days after she got sick. At the time I couldn’t run a mile but I trained hard and a couple months later ran my first half with her there cheering me on. Bald head and all! Now I have run the past 11 Boston Marathons and raised over $100K for cancer research. Running is inextricably linked to cancer for me. It helped me through the hardest times. My mom saw me run my first Boston but passed away a couple weeks after my second. I will cherish those memories forever. Praying for you and your dad.

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Oh Megan. Thank you for sharing this with me and I am so incredibly sorry that you lost your mom to cancer. I am so thankful she saw you finish your first Boston. Thank goodness for running and THANK YOU for doing what you do to raise so much money for cancer research. Please keep me updated on how you are doing. Xoxoxo

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I am so so sorry to hear about your dad. I was an avid reader a while ago and then had a baby and just lost time to read but I still follow you on insta and saw this. My heart goes out to you and your family. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years back and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. It is so hard for the person with the cancer and honestly, just as hard for the family. I am sending all my prayer to everyone. I can’t offer any great advice, it’s so hard, but all I can offer is prayers and knowing the God is there.

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Thank you so so much Amy. I am so so sorry about what you have all been through with your mom’s cancer. How is she now. Thank you for those prayers, they mean everything!

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In 2017 my dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer. We got through radiation treatment but he contracted C- Diff due to some other chemo. We were hoping for many more years. In late 2018 we found cancer of his blood due to his constant weak state. We didn’t know that would be the last Christmas with him. We lost him in Feb 2019 a mere 2 months after finding out. In Dec 2018 we also lost 3 family members in 4 weeks to Cancer. My dad’s lost was the hardest since he had raised me as a single dad since i lost my mom at 9 yrs old to hantavirus. In times were running was my escape I shut down and an now barely getting back into it after a move to WA weeks after the funeral and time to grieve. My husband’s family is now all I have left ( 1 cousin on my side that’s it) in remembrance of those I lost. I buzzed my head during quarentine and keep it short to remind myself that life it not to be taken for granted. We are all in this together 🌺 thank you for sharing your story.

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Oh Molly, I am so so sorry about what you and your family have been through. I cannot even imagine the pain you have experienced and how much you must miss him. I want to give you the biggest hug right now and just cry with you. I’m always here if you need to talk and you are so right, we are ALL in this together. Sending so much love and I love that you buzzed your head for that reminder.

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Thinking of you and your family xoxo

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Thank you sweet friend. I hope you have a beautiful day.

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My newly 7 year old was diagnosed with Leukemia in July – the treatment will be 2.5 years. It has been my worst nightmare come true. Cancer is an awful awful disease :(

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Susan. My stomach dropped when I read your comment. I absolutely cannot even imagine what you and your little one are going through. I am sending so many prayers your way and will you please keep me updated with how you are all doing. I’d love to send something to your 7 year old if you feel comfortable giving me an address.

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I should’ve read this before putting mascara on since I have tears reading this. I’m lucky that I’ve never had a parent diagnosed with cancer but in college, I called my mom one Sunday and she told me that my grandpa was having surgery to remove cancer in his colon. Once I hung off, I just dropped to the ground and sobbed because I know colon cancer can be extremely serious (I mean all cancer is but it’s hard to catch colon cancer from what I’ve learned) so I just didn’t know.

Talk about God’s timing and your mom wanting to renew their insurance policy a year early!! What amazing intuition/feeling/plan that she had to do that and then followed through instead of just waiting until the renewal period.

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Oh Maureen, that is incredibly difficult. Grandparents are SO important to us all so that must have been so scary to get that phone call. Yes, God’s timing is amazing and I am so grateful for the time it has given us all. Have a beautiful day!

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My Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in just April 2019 and passed away one year ago tomorrow, so the timing of this post is perfect for me to reflect, but painful. Just as your dad sounds, my dad was was one of the very friendliest people on Earth and he was always there for me and everyone else in our family. I miss him more than I can put into words. Keeping your dad and your family in my thoughts and all you can do is cherish all the family time you can possibly soak in.

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Kendra. I wish I could take away your pain and just come over and cry with you. I am so so sorry. I hope over the next few days you are able to feel peace, comfort and his love. I’m always here if you need to talk to somebody. Thinking about you.

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Thank you for sharing, peace and love to you and your family.
xoxo

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Thank you Erica and you have sure been such a light to me over the years!

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The timing of this post is uncanny. My dad passed away on Sunday. We found out in August that his sarcoma had returned, and he hds been on hospice since September 1. Back in January of 2019, on the day he was starting radiation treatment for his first round of cancer, my mom wasn’t feeling well so she went to the doctor. He sent her to the hospital, and she was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer and it was throughout her body. My siblings and I basically moved into their house to take care of them both. She was gone in two months. Dad was obviously heartbroken and just could not wait to be with her. That is the only thing that is bringing me comfort now – they are together again and I know they are dancing in heaven!

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Kathy. Oh my heart aches for you. I am so incredibly sorry. You have lost so much the last two years and I cannot even imagine. You are so right, they are together again painfree and so proud of their kids. Thinking about you, sending prayers and if you ever need to talk to somebody, I’m here for you.

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There’s no wrong way to grieve. The important thing is being there and giving yourself tons of time (TONS – more than you think you need or what you think is “normal.”). Cancer is so, so hard – best of luck to you and your family getting through this.

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Thank you so much Liz. You are so right, there is no normal with grief. Thank you Liz and I hope you are having a beautiful morning.

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Fellow Utahn here! Thank you so much for sharing this. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer three years ago, and I remember a lot of the same feelings when I was told the news. I recall hanging up the phone and just curling up on the couch, not wanting to move for hours. I run every day as my usual outlet, but for those first few days, I couldn’t even figure out how to move. I remember resorting to watching old episodes of “West Wing” because I felt like I could no longer just escape into music — I didn’t want to be alone with my thoughts.
My mom continues to get chemo treatments (I think she’s had something like 70-80 rounds by now) and somehow keeps fighting, but every day is an unknown how she’ll feel, and every three months we await the dreaded Petscan results — will we get good news or bad news?
I appreciated you giving us this outlet to share with you, since I often feel like I can’t burden my friends or my husband with my constant fears and worries. People are kind and often ask, but I never want to unload too much on anyone. I just have a 24-hour loop of thoughts in my head about everything. I am not a religious person, but your words about learning from this process and believing in God during this time gave me extreme comfort, so thank you.

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Oh Beth. Thank you for sharing this with us and for talking about how you have grieved, I totally relate with you. I am SO thankful that your mom is still here and still fighting. I am sending you and her all of the love. I totally understand what you said about not wanting to unload on friends constantly, so PLEASE know I am always here to email/talk. I am here for you. We are in this together.

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Wow, I wish I could reach out to help Janae and every single person who has posted here. You are all so brave!

It is so inspiring to see how many people you have helped with this blog Janae.

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Thank you so much John! I am so thankful for this community, we are all in this together! Have a beautiful day.

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Thank you for sharing.
Things like this really do put a whole new outlook & perspective on your life & what’s TRULY important.
Lifting up prayers for you all – especially your father – in this road you are on.

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Thank you so much Rebecca, that means a lot to us all. I hope you have a beautiful day.

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Thank you for sharing. My cousin’s wife died from a brain tumor around the time I got married. It was really difficult for me because we had been so close, but also taught me so much about the eternal nature of families! Her funeral was the same day that I received my endowment in the temple. I hope your Dad continues to do well and that you get many more years together on Earth, but I know that even when he’s gone, he’ll still be by your side when you need him.

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Sarah, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I am so sorry that you lost her and I am so thankful for temples and the peace/comfort we get there. My family flew in one day to all go together and it was so incredibly special. I totally get what you are saying. Thank you, this all means a lot.

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This post brought up so many emotions, Janae!
My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer 30 years ago on my 26th birthday. She fought an 8 year battle with humor and dignity. Her mantra was always “my family needs me.” The hole she left 22 years ago is still there. But the people who leave the biggest holes are those who loved you best. My greatest treasure is her Bible. My dad gave it to me after her funeral and I still reach for it. Pages of notes are filled with one encouraging thought after another.

Your paragraph about Andrew reminds me so much of Les. We were dating, not even engaged, when my mom was diagnosed. He was such a huge support through the entire time. Definitely God’s timing bringing us together when He did.

I think the most important lesson is loving your family, no matter what. There might be difference and disagreements, but nothing worth walking away from your family. When I look back I have no regrets – my relationship was solid and loving. My parents are both gone now but I can look back with joy through the heartbreak.

Praying for you and your family.

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Thank you so much for sharing this. Cancer is such a beast. My beloved Dad had breast cancer when he was 45 years old. He ended up having chemotherapy treatments and he eventually beat it. I vividly remember that feeling of utter panic upon hearing the news. I didn’t realize at the time that men could get breast cancer. My sisters and I get our mammograms every year. Tragedy has touched my family with the death of my granddaughter. It is through my unwavering faith in the Lord our Savior that I am able to function at all. God holds us in the palms of His hands.

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Beautiful post Janae. I lost my dad to Stage 4 Liver cancer almost 10 years ago and you describe a lot of the emotions I went through when we found out (we found out very late what it was and he was gone in a few months).
My husband and I had just started dating 3 months prior to the diagnosis, and there was something extremely special in our going from blissful new love, to me dealing with the worst thing that has ever happened to me…. it cemented our relationship in ways that years of dating couldn’t.
I also went through a period of being extremely angry and feeling like the world was unfair, but I came to somewhat of the conclusion you did, and it actually strengthened my faith in the end. In the words of the Jewish poet Yehuda Halevi (from his poem “Tis a Fearful Thing”):

‘Tis a fearful thing
to love what death can touch.
A fearful thing
to love, to hope, to dream, to be –
to be,
And oh, to lose.
A thing for fools, this,
And a holy thing,
a holy thing
to love.

I’m glad you dad is doing okay and you are making the most of every moment with him!

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Hi Janae, I have wrote you a few times and you responded and got me through some tough moments. My dad was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2018. It is quite a rare cancer- squamous cell cancer. I was actually dealing with IVF and an ectopic pregnancy at the time and it felt like the world was falling down around me. He did radiotherapy which shrank the tumor but unfortunately didn’t get of it all. When they rescanned him they found it had metastatised to his liver. I actually got pregnant from my fifth round of ivf with our miracle baby and in February this year, only 4 weeks before the world shut down and all hospital appointments stopped my dad had A 15 hour surgery in which he had his anus removed along with small bowel and his liver resected. As you can imagine, it is a huge life changing surgery, but my daughter is now 1 and my dad who is only 62 has so many years left to fight to live. Well, it’s 7 months later and my dad is still cancer free, back at the gym, swimming, hiking and renovating my parents house. Miracles do happen. He still has a stage 4 diagnosis because as you know once it metastasises it’s will come back eventually, but for now he has bought some time.
For anyone else reading- my dads anal cancer was caused by HPV. He has been married to my mum for 35 years this summer. Please vaccinate your sons and daughters against HPV as this can happen to anyone. :)

Sending love to you and your mum and dad Janae- and I know what it’s like to be pregnant and be so happy about it but have one area If your life that hurts so much. Faith will get you through!

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Janae, I’m sending you a huge hug! It breaks my heart to know you’ve been going through all of this. I am so glad that you have Andrew to be there and support you through this incredibly difficult time!

A few years ago my dad got very sick, suffered for a few months and then died on October 6th, 2017. My dad was my best friend and his death was (and still is) devastating. He had always been active and was an accomplished triathlete but when I got into distance running his old knees couldn’t keep up so he would bike along next to me while I ran. The summer that I trained for my marathon with him by my side is such precious time and memories that I am SO glad I have now. I know you already know this but spend all the time you can with your dad. Snuggle longer, hug harder. Record his voice. I would do just about anything to get one more hug from my dad, one more moment. Grief is so hard!

I am thinking of you, Janae! I hope that you still have a lot of time with your dad and I hope he is feeling well today. Sending prayers <3

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Hi Janae,

I am so so sorry to hear about your father. I can related SOOOOO much. My father was diagnosed with a serious form of Brain Cancer in 2015. I met my husband in 2015, and similar to you and Andrew, dated very quickly and got married quickly as well! He is my rock, me everything and it was all so meant to be. He came into my life when my fathers diagnosis was brought to fruition. My father, like yours is also one who does so much good for the world. He is such a huge role model to me and my siblings ….a person we all strive to be. Statistics shmatistics. I hate those. Doctors can say any amount of time a person is given they want but at the end of the day, it is totally up to G-D himself. I wish your father stability, smooth recovery, and continued life until 120. Sending big hugs. Thanks for sharing your story.

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Thanks so much for sharing this. I’m not religious but can definitely appreciate the faith and willingness to grow and learn that you show here. You are a beautiful family!

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My Dad died in May of 2019. He fought for his life for months and I was there with him until the end. The grief is usually ok but there are random times (even now) that it feels like someone punched me in my chest. For some reason, every now and then for a brief second I think “Let me call him” then remember he isn’t here. Those moments bring me to my knees.

I will never understand why this was God’s plan. My Dad should be here with me… to watch my boys grow up… to be their grandpa. They were only 5 months old and 2 when he died. I just have to know that sometimes things happen and there just might not be a reason. He was sick and God wanted his soul. That is it. While I know he is in paradise, I just wish he was here more.

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Big, big prayers to you and your dad and your family. <3

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ALL the hugs, love, and prayers to you and your family! thank you for sharing. so many of us can benefit from a strong community of love and support. God is with you all <3

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